Shimmer, exiled dragon princess of the lost Inland Sea, and her human companion, Thorn, return to the dragon kingdoms with the witch who destroyed her homeland in tow, seeking aid from the High King of the dragons to restore it. However, upon arriving, instead of the welcome she expected, she finds herself a fugitive of the High King’s wrath and the remnants of her clan enslaved—forced to temper dragon steel in undersea volcanoes as the humans and dragons ready themselves for war. Now, Shimmer, with two human children, the unpredictable Monkey King and the fragile hope of her clan at her back, she must risk her life and everything she holds dear to steal a magical cauldron, her only hope of restring the sea, from the High King’s vault to give her clan a chance to go home.
Project Info: Welcome, voice actors and actresses! It is my hope to put together a cast for the young adult novel Dragon Steel by Laurence Yep. This was a favorite book from my childhood, and the fact there is yet no audiobook version of it inspired this thread.
Technically, this book is the second in a quartet of books: Dragon of the Lost Sea, Dragon Steel, Dragon Cauldron, and Dragon War. I decided to go ahead and try this with Dragon Steel first, partially because it is my personal favorite, and unlike most other book series I would read, I actually read Dragon Steel and the other two before I even knew there was previous installment with no less enjoyment. Of course, when I discovered Dragon of the Lost Sea, I was ecstatic, but I still found Dragon Steel more enjoyable even as an introduction to the series.
In the event that this experiment of a full-cast audiobook well, I may look to produce the rest of the series.
*Having read the book is NOT a pre-requisite to audition! Don’t let that stop you ^__^ However, for some parts, I will ask you to read the novel, for reasons that will be made obvious in the Casting section. In a perfect world, I'd have every member of the cast read the book after they've gotten their parts, but I understand this doesn't always work. However, the book is a very quick read, at 275 pages and about the same reading level as Erin Hunter's Warrior Cats book. You could read it in a day. XD
*Use a decent microphone. If your audition has a ton of static, plosives, background noise, it will be difficult to hear the quality of the acting period.
*Please send your auditions in .mp3 or .wav format as “character name_audition_your username” to email@example.com. In the subject, please put "Dragon Steel Audition--Username". Please post that you’ve sent in an auditioned in-thread, and I will post up auditions to confirm I’ve received them.
*DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO JULY 4thth.
Darknezz-The Lord of Flowers
T. Rooney-Thorn, The Grand Mage
Koe- Indigo, Lady Francolin, Civet
Luna Prongs- Shimmer, Indigo
Daglot Alta- Thorn, The Grand Mage
Kriss- Thorn, Thrush
JessiVoice- Shimmer, Indigo, Civet, Sergeant Chukar, Female Soldier, Artemisia
Logistyzx- Monkey, Thrush, Ensign, Guard 1 and 2
Shadow Queen- Shimmer
Grubrot-Sambar, Grand Mage, Lord of Flowers, Ensign, Guard 1 and 2
Peaches Heart- Shimmer, Indigo, Civet, Artemesia
Xochitl- Shimmer, Sergeant Chukar
IMPORTANT NOTE: Those auditioning for Shimmer should know that Dragon Steel is a FIRST-PERSON PERSPECTIVE, and is written from Shimmer’s point of view. That said, whoever gets Shimmer’s part will be READING THE ENTIRE BOOK as well as ACTING for her dialogue. This is a monumental role, and a big commitment. For the person who gets Shimmer’s part, I will send you one of my two copies of the book for the purposes of recording (unless you are overseas, in which case we will work something out between the two of us, this book is not hard or expensive to acquire and there are no existing PDF versions of it online to my knowledge). As such, I will be looking for a voice that can tell the narrative well, as well as act in dialogue.
Age: Dragon lifespans notwithstanding, Shimmer is a young adult, and should sound like she is in her early to mid-twenties.
Bio: Shimmer was the Princess of the Inland Sea before it was stolen by the witch, Civet. On her mother’s death, she was to inherit the fabled dream pearl—a dragon treasure that allowed her mother to work all kinds of magic and illusions. Despite the fact this was her inheritance, her elder brother attempted to wrest it from her. Shimmer refused to give it up, and so her brother framed her for theft and she was thus cast out. She wandered the human world for centuries, looking to capture Civet to restore her sea, having grown bitter and cynical with only revenge on her mind. However, she eventually found friendship in the human boy, Thorn, and her heart has softened since.
Shimmer is proud, practical, resourceful, and nothing if not determined, but she’s crafty enough to know when to act, even if her haughtiness, cynicism and sharp tongue get her into trouble.
Voice type: medium to high adult. She is proud, but should have a raw, scrappy edge to her voice despite her airs.
1. I’d been so busy dreaming about all the banquets in my honor that I’d forgotten the first rule of survival: Always assume the worst.
2. “I am Shimmer of the Inland Sea; and a princess of the royal blood.” (haughty, regal)
3. The more they built up their expectations, the harder would be the fall when I disappointed them, and—and disappoint them I would. I looked at each of those grizzled veterans. Their faces and hides had as many scars and scratches as an old butcher’s knife that’s been honed until there’s nothing left. And yet each of them looked at me with all the eagerness and hope of dragons fresh from the egg. I wanted to give them something beyond empty assurances. After all these years of suffering and humiliation, they needed more than words. I reached into myself…and found nothing. I was on the run, after all, with a magical pearl I barely knew how to use.
4. “Wonderful. That’s just what I need on top of everything else—a personal curse.” (sarcastic)
5. “Your Wisdom, I swear that I’ll crumple this in half if your guard gets in our way.” (defiant, diplomatic)
6. “Remember what Lady Francolin said about dragon steel. You’re being tempered for just a little longer.” (comforting)
Age: Anywhere from 14 to 17
Bio: An orphaned peasant boy and former kitchen slave who befriended Shimmer on her travels, Thorn is more than anyone else in the series, a pure-heated hero. He is loyal to a fault, thinks with his heart rather than his head, and very brave—willing to stand up to other humans, dragons and even demon monsters with nothing but an old kitchen knife. He is warm, quick to forgive, steadfast and Shimmer’s dearest—and for some time—only friend. Has a very clear sense of right and wrong. Despite his youth and humanity, Shimmer relies heavily upon him both in battle, and as a companion who often reminds her of what it really important—his optimist to her pessimist…usually.
Voice type: medium, pure and brave sounding.
1. “The pearl is hers. You’ve no right to do this!”
2. “Don’t worry. We’ll get out of this.”
3. “No. For better, or worse, we’re a team. We fight together, and if we have to, we die together.”
Bio: A kitchen slave in the High King Sambar’s palace, Indigo dreams of someday escaping and returning to her family’s homeland, the Green Darkness. Years of brutal treatment have hardened her heart, leaving an otherwise tender, fragile girl surrounded by a shell of bitterness, cynicism and single-minded-ness. At the beginning of the novel, she starts off desperate and self-centered, but as she journeys with Shimmer and Thorn, she begins to warm up and trust again.
Voice type: medium-high, brusque
1. “Hmph, she doesn’t look like much of a princess.”
2. “There are more important things than being safe. If you don’t take me with you, I’ll raise the alarm.”
3. “You could have escaped with the cauldron. Why did you come for me?”
SORCERERS AND DEMIGODS
Name: Monkey (aka the Sun Wukong/ Master of the Seventy-Two Transformations/ the Monkey King from Chinese mythology)
Age: Like several other mythological figures in this series, he’s effectively ageless, but for the purposes of this story should sound at least in his late twenties or thirties
Bio: An unruly trickster-god, Monkey accidentally caused Civet to loose the waters of Shimmer’s Inland Sea in the wrong place. In his efforts to steal back his trademark weapon from the High King’s vaults, he ended up getting thrown in jail instead. He promises to aid Shimmer in her quest if she helps him escape—and despite his spotty track record with keeping promises, he’s as good as his word. He’s an adept fighter, knows all sorts of old magic, and doesn’t take things too seriously for the most part, boisterous and energetic. He’s a jokester with a huge ego and an impulsive risk-taker, but he is crafty and will sober up when the party is in a serious jam.
Voice type: medium-low Energetic, theatrical
1. “Do you think this little stone box can hold the Master of the Seventy-Two Transformations?”
2. “Couldn’t you have been lovable for once in your life and charmed your uncle?”
3. “This calls for magic, and lots of it. Change!”
Name: The Lord of Flowers
Age: Should sound at least like thirties/forties.
Bio: An ancient demigod the Lord of Flowers is a bombastic, whimsical creature with immense power. He is vain, removed and regal, with a harsh but not unmerciful eye on mortals. Agrees to help Shimmer and the group on a whim after Monkey summons him.
Voice type: low-ish, bombastic, curt
1. “What does pity mean when you’ve lived as long as I have? Creatures come, creatures go; but the earth remains and my magic comes from the earth. I woke to the songs of creation. I will fall asleep to the songs of destruction.”
Age: Should sound about twenty-ish
Bio: One of the Lord of Flower’s Knights
Voice type: feminine, polite
1. “When the Lord really rides, there is nothing swifter.”
Age: Should sound about 16
Bio: Originally the escaped sacrificial wife of a cruel river spirit, Civet was the Witch who stole Shimmer’s homeland and eventually loosed its waters on a helpless town. She was captured by Shimmer and Thorn and delivered to the palace. However, towards the end of the narrative, Shimmer finds it in her heart to forgive Civet and ask her for help in restoring the home she destroyed. Civet, for her part, is ready to repent and start fresh, tentatively trusting.
Voice type: high, cold
1. “Don’t toy with me. I know you’ve got a cell ready for me in some dungeon.”
2. “I’m sorry for what I did to you and your clan.”
DRAGONS OF THE HIGH KING’S COURT
Name: (High King) Sambar the XII
Age: Should sound forties/fifties ish
Bio: The High King of the Dragons, Sambar is Shimmer’s uncle. He was once a good-hearted, great warrior, titled Sambar the Strong, but these days has sunk into fat, greed and pompousness. He’s effectively enslaved the refugees of Shimmer’s clan on the dangerous outposts after their sea was stolen. Likes to hoard powerful magical objects in his vaults and is never satisfied with its contents, even going so far as to try and take Shimmer’s inheritance, the dream pearl, from her by force.
Voice type: Low, regal, slimy
1. “Our dearest niece, you don’t really expect us to believe this. You must have used the pearl.”
2. “They serve me at various outposts—like the loyal subjects they are. As you should.”
3. “How dare he threaten us. Take those fools and put them in the deepest of our dungeons.”
Name: The Grand Mage
Age: Should sound in his late thirties or forties
Bio: The highest ranking mage in Sambar’s court. He’s dutiful, but pompous, casually cruel and whinging. Enjoys lording his position over others.
Voice type: medium to high, sycophantic
1. “Cheer up. In ten years, His Exalted Highness may forgive your insolence and release you.”
2. “Please, please, I’ll do anything just so long as you don’t blind me.”
Name/Title: The Lieutennant
Age: Late teens, early twenties sounding
Bio: A young lieutenant on a dragon outpost who sees his chance for promotion in taking Shimmer to the high court. He’s from the southern seas, which gives him a peculiar accent—not distinguishing between his “b”s and “p”s. He’s very puffed up with his current station and is motivated primarily by the chance of continual promotion. Huge, fragile ego.
1. “Brincesses of the royal blood don’t carry basengers around like a donkey.”
2. “She values the boy, Your Exalted Majesty. I think he’s some kind of bet.”
Role: The Announcer
Notes: Should have a deep booming voice
Audition line: “Your Most Exalted Majesty, Sambar the Strong, here is the outlaw, Shimmer.”
Audition Line: “I could have sworn I saw one of those fish change from green to silver when we came into the room.”
Role: Guard 1
Notes: Piggish and a bully
Audition line: “Well, what did you bring us this time, boys?”
Role: Guard 2
Audition line: “Trouble. You don’t know what trouble is until you’ve let a few prisoners escape.”
Note: Grizzled, suspicious ensign posted to help keep the enslaved dragons of Shimmer’s clan under control
Audition line: “What are you ungrateful scum up to?”
CLAN OF THE INLAND SEA
Name: Sergeant Chukar
Age: Late thirties
Bio: A warrior of the Inland Sea, Chukar is one of many grizzled veterans who’s now spent centuries on the frontiers of the dragon kingdoms, fighting krakens and living in vile, dangerous conditions. Though she’s been through a lot, she is still hopeful, optimistic and ready to throw her support behind Shimmer on her return to the clan.
Voice type: Medium to low, tough, warm
1. “For once in your life, will you use your eyes first instead of your tongue? She’s got as many scars as the rest of us. If anything, she’s had an exile harder than any of us.”
2. “But things will be different with you to lead us away from here. We’ve a proper leader now—someone with some backbone.”
Age: Late thirties, early forties
Bio: A friend of Chukar’s, Slug is also a veteran warrior. He was badly wounded and is now missing one wing. He’s bitter and resentful of royals in general, and initially less optimistic about Shimmer’s return doing anything to improve the common dragon’s lot, but eventually warms to her after a while.
Voice type: medium to high, grizzled, cynical
1. “This is our gift to your and our clan. Don’t spoil it.”
2. “The only way to leave the garrison is to die.”
Age: At least fifty-to sixty-ish sounding
Bio: Bulbul is an elder of the clan now, and responsible for picking the last of Ebony’s tears, a type of flower than only grew on the Inland Sea’s shores, before Civet stole it away. He’s kind, trusting and nostalgic—and is ready to put faith in Shimmer upon her arrival.
Voice type: elderly, warm, wistful
1. “I picked it on the shore myself the day before the Witch came. It was a stalk of Ebony’s tears. The very same flowers that grew when he was in exile and weeping for this lost love.”
Name: Lady Francolin
Age: 60’s ish
Bio: Once Shimmer’s royal tutor and court historian at the palace. She, like all the other survivors of the clan of the Inland sea is forced to work in hideous conditions, but her age limits her mostly to cleaning scraps at the forges. However, she busies herself with keeping an oral history of the clan. At the time of the story, her branch of the clan is holding on to the last keepsake of the Inland Sea, a stalk of Ebony’s tears. She is wise, generous and takes the step to put faith in Shimmer’s efforts and gives her the flower and has hope for the future of the clan, even though she’s seen its worst days.
1. “But hurry. Tell me your tale, child.”
2. “Shh. We can’t just sit here and talk about the old days. We have to see about making a set of new days.
3. “She won’t fail, I tell you. She’s like steel—dragon steel.”
Age: 14-17 ish
Bio: Thush is the nephew of the aged Lady Francolin. He’s quite young, but like most young dragons on the outpost, didn’t have much of a childhood, so he holds and composes himself much like an adult would. He serves as her caretaker. He’s responsible, and protective, but also wary and irritable.
Voice Type: medium to high, cautious, measured
1. “But that’s all that keeps some of the older ones going! They sit and smell the flower and remember, and the young ones like to listen and imagine they’re away from the forges. What right do you have to take that away from us?”
2. “I know she caught the Witch, but restoring the sea sounds even harder. Is she the one to do it?